Meet the Speakers: RNC Speaker Once Suggested Gay Lawmaker Wanted To Protect Pedophiles

In the lead-up to and during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, we’ll be profiling some of the activists and politicians invited to speak at the event. Find more of our Meet the Speakers series here.
One speaker at today’s session of the Republican National Convention was former Colorado state Rep. Libby Szabo, now a Jefferson County commissioner.
Szabo raised eyebrows in 2013 when she went on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program and suggested that the Colorado House speaker, who was openly gay, was “protecting somebody” when he opposed a bill that would have imposed harsh mandatory minimum sentences on people convicted of sexual assault against children. (Critics said that the bill was unnecessary and that current law already provided the protections needed.)
ThinkProgress transcribed Szabo’s conversation with O’Reilly:
O’REILLY: Now this Ferrandino I understand he is the — what, t he first openly gay House Speaker in Colorado. He was a fervent gay marriage person. He objected when gay marriage was first tabled because they sent it into the same committee to kill it that he sent Jessica’s law in. All that true so far of this guy?
SZABO: So far you’re correct.
O’REILLY: All right. So this guy doesn’t want tougher mandatory sentences. Have you talked to him about it? Has he said anything to the press about why not?
SZABO: You know, I don’t know that the press in Colorado, they covered this issue very well on — on my side of the issue and on Mr. Lunsford’s side of the issue. But I don’t believe he was willing to speak to them because obviously he’s protecting somebody. Obviously the victims hold more credence with him — I mean not the victim— the perpetrators hold more credence with him than the child victims do.